The plugin that I am reviewing today is the very popular activity module Certificate for Moodle 2. This activity allows the creation of a certificate in a course for download once certain criteria have been completed.
This activity module has been around for some time for older Moodle versions. There were some partial updates for Moodle 2, but only recently has a version been officially released into the plugin database for Moodle 2. The most recent version is being maintained by Julian Ridden of the Moodle Partner Pukunui in Australia.
This release is something that a lot of people have been waiting for.
What does it do?
You can set up this activity to enable students download a certificate of completion for the course or part of a course. This can be configured through the settings of the activity. The issuing of the certificate can be dependent on the completed activities within the course using the Moodle 2 conditional activity feature.
Is it simple to install?
Yes it installed without issue. Taking the zip from the plugin page you get a zip called mod_certificate_moodle21_2011110106.zip. Once you unzip, inside this you get the folder called certificate. Once this is uploaded into the moodle/mod folder of your Moodle 2 site you then open the admin notifications page to install. The installation passed without errors and it didn’t add any new global settings.
The source code is available to browse on GitHub.
Is there documentation for it?
There is detailed Moodle Docs page outlining the installation process, the basic settings and how to customise the certificate. There are some older information regarding 1.9 add-ons which hopefully will get updated.
Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?
Yes, the teacher will have no challenges in adding this to a course, however there are a number of settings to learn and understand so that the certificate is correctly configured.
Firstly, the certificate works using the Conditional activities logic in Moodle 2 which is good news. The Moodle 1.9 version has to have its own logic as conditional activities did not exist in core. So the activity completion and tracking and conditional activities must be enabled in the course.
These are then the settings which need to be configured to say when a user can create the certificate, and of course it could be based on no restrictions at all, or multiple conditions.
The other main settings are broken into three areas:
- Issue Options
- Text Options
- Design Options
- Email Teachers – do you want an email sent to a teacher when it is created by a student.
- Email Others – you can specify another person (not in the course so perhaps the registry, or HR department) when the certificate is created
- Delivery – the certificate can appear in a new window, be downloaded or emailed to the student
- Save Certificates – keep a copy of each certificate in the course
- Re-issue certificates – each time a user reads the certificate to reissue with the new date/time/grade etc
- Print Date – This allows you configure which date to use, the date of receipt or the date of an activity being graded.
- Date Format – Allows you to select the format of the date
- Print Code – Generates a unique 10-digit code which is printed on the certificate if desired
- Print Grade – This allows you configure which grade to use if any, be it the final course grade or the grade of a specific activity.
- Grade Format – This allows you choose either percentage, points or letter as the Grade format.
- Print Outcome – You can choose a course outcome (competency) to display on the certificate
- Print Credit Hours – If the certificate represents a number of credit hours you can add that total here for printing on the certificate
- Print Teacher Name(s) – Enables you print the teacher name on the certificate
- Custom text – Allows you add some custom descriptive text onto the certificate
- Certificate Type – You can select A4 or Letter, and whether it is embedded or not
- Orientation – You can select whether it is Landscape or Portrait
- Border Image – There are a selection of 8 default border images to use
- Border Lines – You can use border lines instead of images if you wish
- Watermark Image – A watermark image can be inserted into the background of the certificate. This can provide a very nice effect.
- Signature Image – There are default signatures, but you will probably want to replace it with an image of the correct signature
- Seal or Logo Image – You can add in a seal or Logo onto the certificate if required.
Is it easy for the learner/student to use?
Yes. Point and Click. The user just clicks on the activity link and if they are allowed to access the certificate it will be generated for them. It follows the same access rights as all conditional access, so if you decide to let the user know why they cannot see it, they get told if it is restricted by date, grade, or completion as you have configured it.
Does it do what it promises?
Oh yes. This is an absolutely MUST HAVE module for most Moodle 2 sites. Whether it is for HR certification of product training, or health and safety regulatory training, or for issuing certificates to students, this module provides an excellent feature which most will use at some time or other. It is great to see it released for Moodle 2. Well done Pukunui.
Stars: 4 out of 5 stars for this activity.
These reviews check out the plugin for usability not for security. If you are considering installing any module on your site you should also check that is secure and does not impact the server performance.
Thank you for the detailed information.
Do you know how to connect the subject Activity to quizes from different courses? I need to create one certificate in Course A, and give access restriction depending on whether the user has passed a quiz test that resides in another course.
Thank you again.
That is not possible with the module without some development.
I can think of a few ways one could approach that development, but it would depend on your hosting arrangements and ability to code or budget to get development done.
Have you asked in the Moodle.org forums if anyone has done something similar?
Do you perhaps know how to get Moodle 2.2.1 to allow one to print the certificate PDF file? I am not getting it right.
Any ideas would be welcome.
I think alternate module for making certificates can be interested to you.
Certificates Wall Moodpe plugin makes the same things as Certificate plugin but it has some additional functionality.
Pingback: Moodle is 10 years old – some Moodle-y Lists of 10 | Some Random Thoughts
I’m wondering if there is a way to generate two certificates e.g. one would be for PDPs and one for grades. We’ll be using Moodle v2.3. Any insights would be much appreciated!
Since you originally posted this article, the 1.9 feature of “required minutes” has been re-implemented. While I try to discourage teachers from using this feature, some insist that their certifying agencies require it. In advising them, however, I like to explain how minutes in a course is calculated. As I understood from 1.9, Moodle 2 has no provision for calculating accumulated time spent in several “sit-down” sessions. Instead, it simply compares the time of the last login (from the log files) with the current time when the certificate activity is selected. If that simple calculation results in more minutes than specified in the certificate, then the condition is met.
Is this still correct?